Trinity College School

Head Lines

Wednesday June 13, 2018

When I first started to write my weekly blog in 2009, I was unsure who would read it. At first, I thought my audience would be students. I believed that the blog would provide an opportunity for me to appear in social media, connecting with kids on their preferred forum, and it would offer me another vehicle to impart more information and further celebrate their successes.

A quick question to the entire student body, in chapel, about six months after I started the blog, revealed an interesting fact. Of approximately 580 students, less than 10 kids had read one of my blogs; and many had only read it because their parents had told them to! Conversely, at Parent-Teacher Meetings, sporting events and arts evenings, several parents approached me to say that they read my blog regularly. At alumni events, many former parents and alumni of the School also told me that they had read at least a couple of my blog posts. And so, my actual audience revealed itself!

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Thursday June 07, 2018

Part 3 of a 3-part series on insights from our graduating class

The past two weeks I have devoted this space to feedback that I have received through my annual “Chew and Chat” sessions with the members of the graduating class. A brief look at the positive comments and the constructive feedback to improve the School would show a graduating class that has valued their experience at TCS. On the positive side of the ledger, students have identified the high level of care and kindness, and the supportive relationships they have with our professional faculty and staff that allow them to succeed. Our grads believe that, as a school, we distinguish ourselves in this regard, while offering a very active, engaging, challenging and enjoyable curricular, co-curricular and residential program.

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Wednesday May 30, 2018

Part 2 of a 3-part series on insights from our graduating class

Last week, I shared a host of very positive comments that the members of our Graduating Class of 2018 shared during my annual end-of-year house meetings, a.k.a. Chew and Chats with the Headmaster. This week, I share with you some of the comments they made in response to my question as to how would they improve our school. Next week, I will explain what we will do with their valuable feedback, on a go-forward basis.

One of the more gratifying aspects of the Chew and Chat exercise with all 10 houses each year, is how many more positive remarks are made about the School, as opposed to suggestions to improve the School. Truly, for every one suggestion aimed at improving TCS, there are (depending upon the house!), three to four times more positive comments.

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Thursday May 24, 2018

Part 1 of a 3-part series on insights from our graduating class

Each spring, I have the pleasure of meeting with the graduation class; each of the 10 houses meeting with me individually. I call them “Chew & Chats.” I provide “the chew” (food), and they provide the conversation, or “the chat.” I love these meetings. They are fun, informative and helpful. The purpose of the meetings is to receive feedback on each student’s experience at TCS. Some might compare it to the common business practice of conducting exit interviews. In reality, however, it is a great opportunity for me to have conversations with our kids about what they most value about their school and what they feel we could improve upon.

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Wednesday May 16, 2018

On June 15, 2018, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the leaving class at Trinity College School – the Class of 2018 – will have just taken their graduation photograph, thrown their blazers into the air in celebration, and will have officially launched into the next chapter of their lives. The following night, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, families will gather to celebrate their children in what is likely the biggest milestone of their young lives. How exciting! How exhilarating! How potentially terrifying, too!

In many ways, the start of post-secondary education will be like living a new life. Most kids will leave home, leave town, meet a new group of people, enrol in courses new to them. Seemingly, everything changes: food, bed, clothes, routine, sports, friends. Different people will influence, lead, help and support. There will likely be a lot more alone time; and also time connecting with different people, at different times, and in different places.

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Wednesday May 09, 2018

At the end of this academic year, Deirdre McIntosh will retire after nearly 22 years at Trinity College School.

During Deirdre’s first years at TCS she served as the assistant to the director of property. Her last 14 years were spent in her capacity as assistant to the headmaster.

Her most recent title does not adequately convey the breadth of her responsibilities, nor account for an ever-changing job description.

Deirdre has effectively provided professional services, advising and assisting myself and others in the areas of editing, trip planning, public relations, negotiation, mediation, consultation, communications, information technology, admissions, friend-raising and fundraising, to name but a few. She has significantly contributed to enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness and the quality of care that we trust distinguishes Trinity College School.

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Thursday May 03, 2018

Part 3 of a 3-part series on making informed decisions

My two previous blog posts on the topic of ethical dilemmas introduced the book How Good People Make Tough Choices by Rushworth Kidder. The purpose of designating three blogs to this topic and to the book, in part, is to offer families information and insight into the seemingly straight-forward, but necessarily complex, responsibility of creating a positive school climate through the enforcement, or flexibility, of school rules, standards and expectations.

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Wednesday April 25, 2018

Part 2 of a 3-part series on making informed decisions

Determining fault and subsequent consequences for right vs. wrong dilemmas is significantly easier than making decisions on right vs. right dilemmas. Examples of right vs. wrong dilemmas might include drinking and driving; stealing someone’s wallet; vandalizing a home. In these cases, it is clear that a wrong has been committed and cannot be tolerated. A clear consequence is necessary which could include criminal charges, jail time, a lost licence, etc.

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Wednesday April 18, 2018

Part 1 of a 3-part series on making informed decisions

If a student is caught plagiarizing on a test for the second time in the same academic year, what would you suggest the School’s response should be? Issue another warning? An option to retake the same test? Or take a similar, but different test? Receive an automatic “zero” on the test? Mandatory removal from the course? Placed on “academic probation”? Suspension? Expulsion?

Now, let’s add some more details to this fictional scenario...

Would your opinion change if the aforementioned student is in Grade 5? Would it be relevant to you that the student is in his or her graduating year? Does it matter if it’s YOUR child in question?

Let’s consider another example of an ethical dilemma involving kids...

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Thursday April 12, 2018

If you are a parent of a child at Trinity College School, do you often compare your own education with the educational experience that your child is receiving at TCS? I think it is natural to do so. I know I certainly consider the similarities and differences.

Like many reflecting back, I feel I attended a good school. But it doesn’t compare to what is on offer at TCS these days. I was once again reminded of this in light of the interhouse House Debates finals held this past Monday. I know we never had those at my alma mater! And, I wonder how many of you attended an elementary or high school that had the following on offer:

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